Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 11:47 AM ET|
Turner Broadcasting will provide Comcast with VOD and TV Everywhere access for some of its most popular programs across all of its cable networks, under a deal announced this morning. A significant aspect of the deal is that it gives Comcast rights not only to past seasons' episodes, but also to all current season episodes - what's known as "stacking rights." The deal is a big win for Comcast and also underscores the emergence of dynamic ad insertion in VOD/TVE streams as an important new revenue driver.
Monday, December 23, 2013, 12:29 PM ET|
In the session "Is TV Everywhere Finally Breaking Through?" at the recent VideoSchmooze, industry executives discussed an important long-term objective for the pay-TV industry: turning TV Everywhere into TV, Everywhere. The insertion of that little comma would convert a key industry initiative into a practical, compelling and ubiquitous consumer experience.
For device-happy consumers, what's not to love about the idea of being able to watch all kinds of TV programming (sports, news entertainment, etc.) in any format (live, linear or on-demand), inside or outside their homes whenever they want?
But getting to that eventual goal involves resolving a lot of sticky business and technical challenges. In the wide-ranging panel discussion, our participants Michael Bishara (Synacor), John Harran (Turner), Marty Roberts (thePlatform), John Woods (Mediacom) and Colin Dixon (nScreenMedia and moderator) did a great job of sorting through all of the issues and articulating the opportunities.
For anyone interested in TV Everywhere, it's a highly informative 47 minutes. The video is below.
Monday, October 28, 2013, 10:38 AM ET|
Binge-viewing is a bona fide phenomenon that's not only changing consumers' TV viewing behaviors, but also creating fissures in the TV industry. Recently, in "For U.S. Cable Operators, Netflix Partnerships Are Fraught With Risk," I outlined how binge-viewing is driving a competitive dynamic over content rights between Netflix and pay-TV operators' VOD and TV Everywhere plans. Adding further detail, this past Friday, Vulture published an excellent article with specific examples of how this battle is brewing.
According to Vulture, FX and Turner are telling studios from which they obtain TV shows that they need rights to stream the full current season of shows (known as "stacking" rights) not just the most recent 3-5 episodes. Part of the networks' rationale is they need to give late-coming viewers an easy path to watch from the beginning of a season, rather than just enabling existing viewers a way to catch up.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 2:46 PM ET|
Adobe is announcing today that Turner Broadcasting is its latest customer of Adobe Primetime, the company's multi-screen TV Everywhere and monetization solution. Turner will be using Primetime to power TNT and TBS apps and web sites, along with the Primetime player and dynamic ad insertion, PayTV Pass authentication and Primetime DRM.
Jeremy Helfand, VP Adobe Video Solutions, told me that until now Turner had been using a combination of home-grown and point product solutions, which are being replaced with the Primetime suite. Turner has been the earliest and staunchest supporter of TV Everywhere among cable TV networks, going back 4+ years to the high-profile joint news conference with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, announcing the initiative.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:11 AM ET|
For many viewers, a pre-roll ad is just a 15 or 30-second interruption before the content plays. But now advertisers can make their pre-rolls full-blown interactive experiences with multiple engagement opportunities. At the recent Video Ad Summit, Patty Everett, Associate Media Director at Turner Media explained how, using a sample campaign to illustrate her points in discussion with Jack Flanagan from Innovid.
In the session, Patty details how an interactive pre-roll for Cartoon Network's Hall of Game awards drove awareness, voting and ultimately tune-in. Patty also explains the key challenges in developing interactive pre-rolls and what advertisers need to do to succeed. Advertisers and publishers looking to get more out of their pre-roll will get great insights.
The video is below and runs 13 minutes, 20 seconds.
Friday, March 15, 2013, 9:56 AM ET|
I'm pleased to present the 171st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Leading us off today, Colin digs into Nielsen's new "zero-TV" homes data, part of its Q4 '12 Cross-Platform report. When Colin crunches the numbers, he concludes that the U.S. pay-TV industry may have lost 1.1 million subscribers last year, who moved into the zero-TV category. That would be above other estimates, which range from flat to down about 500K.
Of course one of the industry's key initiatives to add value has been TV Everywhere, and on that front, there were refreshingly candid admissions this week from both David Levy, head of Turner's sales, distribution and sports, who said he was "embarrassed" at TV Everywhere's progress, and Lauren Zalaznick, NBCU's chairman, entertainment and digital networks, who said it's too confusing. Both are right, and there are other reasons as elaborated in the recent Ultimate Guide to TV Everywhere (free download).
Contributing to the pressure on pay-TV providers is the ever-expanding range of quality content available online, and 2 more efforts surfaced this week, Conde Nast's new digital video network, and VEVO TV, a 24x7 music video network.
Separate, Colin has released his excellent new white paper, "Second-Screen Apps for TV" (free download here)
And a reminder to sign up for "Sizing Up Apple TV" a free video webinar on April 2nd featuring Brightcove's Jeremy Allaire and me.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 42 seconds)
Thursday, June 14, 2012, 9:10 AM ET|
At the recent Cable Show I caught up with Michael Quigley, VP Business Development and Multi-Platform Distribution for Turner Networks. Turner has arguably been the most aggressive of all the cable TV networks in pursuing TV Everywhere distribution, and Michael explain why. Turner has now integrated with 13 different pay-TV operators for TV Everywhere distribution covering 77 million U.S. homes. It also makes authenticated content available on 6 of its networks' sites, with over 500 hours of VOD.
One of the key decisions Turner made was to invest in TV Everywhere before the measurement systems from Nielsen and others were fully in place. That's a risk Michael says Turner was willing to take in order to push the TV Everywhere experience forward and draw other networks in. In the interview Michael also discusses ongoing challenges for TV Everywhere's rollout. Watch the interview below (9 minutes, 46 seconds).
Friday, June 10, 2011, 10:06 AM ET|At the ELEVATE conference earlier this week I moderated a panel with executives from 3 of the leading proponents of TV Everywhere, during which they estimated about 75% of cable TV programming could be available on connected and mobile devices within 2 years. That amount would be a huge increase from what's currently available and would also represent a massive shift by the pay-TV ecosystem to delivering content to IP devices. It would also represent a huge game change in the overall TV advertising ecosystem depending on what ad policies are implemented (full ad load, partial load, etc.).
The panelists included David Preschlack, EVP, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group, Jeremy Legg, SVP Business Development & Multi-Platform Distribution, Turner Broadcasting and Matt Strauss, SVP & GM, Comcast Interactive Media.
With the rise of over-the-top competitors (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, etc.), TV Everywhere has emerged as the pay-TV industry's number one priority. No doubt at next week's Cable Show in Chicago it will be the most pervasive topic of discussion. Yet significant issues remain for TV Everywhere's rollout. Chief among them are lack of adequate audience measurement systems, limited rights and caution among cable networks. We discussed each on the panel.
Thursday, April 21, 2011, 9:16 AM ET|I'm delighted to announce that TV Everywhere's game-changing role in the TV and advertising ecosystems will be the topic of a marquee panel of cable industry executives at ELEVATE: Online Video Advertising Summit on Tuesday, June 7th in New York City. The panel, which I'll moderate, is titled "TV Everywhere: Game-Changer for Premium Online Video and Advertising" and includes:
- Jeremy Legg - SVP, Business Development and Multi-Platform Distribution, Turner Broadcasting System
- David Preschlack - EVP, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group
- Matt Strauss - SVP and General Manager, Comcast Interactive Media
As I've written since it first burst onto the scene almost 2 years ago, TV Everywhere is the most significant initiative in the TV industry today because it aims to untether all of the most popular programs from cable TV networks that have traditionally been locked to the set-top box in the TV room, making them available on myriad connected and mobile devices. In this respect, TV Everywhere is a strategic imperative for the pay-TV industry; as new entrants like Netflix, Hulu Plus and others have strongly embraced delivery to connected and mobile devices, they have raised the competitive bar for all others.
Monday, October 4, 2010, 12:50 PM ET|Google released further details on Google TV this morning, unveiling a slew of content services and apps that will be available at launch. Chief among them are Netflix and HBO Go (both for subscribers), Amazon VOD and Pandora, plus new apps from NBA ("NBA Game Time"), NBCU ("CNBC Real-Time"), and "optimized" content from Turner Broadcasting, NY Times, USA Today, VEVO, Napster, Twitter and blip.TV. Google didn't specify what optimized means, but I suspect it means appropriate metadata so that programs can be exposed in Google TV searches. Of course, "Leanback," YouTube's 10-foot interface, will also be featured.
Friday, February 5, 2010, 8:22 AM ET|
Daisy Whitney and I are pleased to present the 48th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for February 5, 2010.
This week we get started with me reviewing yesterday's post about FreeWheel now serving close to 2 billion video ads per month and signing up MLB Advanced Media as their newest customer. FreeWheel's Doug Knopper told me that it is benefitting from both its new customers and also from year-over-year increases in ads served for existing customers. FreeWheel is also in the middle of the "syndicated video economy" that I've written before, having integrated with big third parties such as YouTube, AOL, MSN, Fancast and others.
Then Daisy describes her interview from last week's NATPE show with Chloe Sladden, director of media partnership for Twitter. The company is planning to launch its Media Developer's Platform later this year, along with new measurement tools. Daisy shares what she learned.
Click here to listen to the podcast (12 minutes, 38 seconds)
Click here for previous podcasts
The VideoNuze Report is available in iTunes...subscribe today!
Thursday, February 4, 2010, 9:07 AM ET|
FreeWheel is on a roll, now serving almost 2 billion video ads/month, doubling its volume just since November, 2009. In addition, the company has added Major League Baseball Advanced Media to its customer roster and began implementing ads during the fall playoff season. The MLB win comes on top of recently announced customers Turner Broadcasting System and VEVO. FreeWheel's co-CEO/co-founder Doug Knopper brought me up to speed on all the news late last week.
Doug said that part of the increase in FreeWheel's volume is attributable to the additional customers that have come on board, but he's also very excited about the year-over-year growth in ad volume FreeWheel is seeing for longer-term customers ("same store sales" if you will). FreeWheel is seeing big increases due to 3 factors: customers posting greater quantities of video, plus deepening viewership of that video (all of this borne out by comScore's '09 video consumption data); customers' improving ability to actually sell ads against these videos (reflecting the shift of budgets to the online video medium); and reduced friction through the emergence of "accepted practices" in ad operations.
FreeWheel is also benefiting from its specialization in helping content providers monetize their video on third-party sites (e.g. YouTube, AOL, MSN, Fancast, etc.). More and more content executives are realizing that sizable viewership opportunities exist by syndicating their video outside of their own properties. Doug said that every content company FreeWheel is now talking to is interested in some kind of syndication.
Doug described 3 types of syndication he's seeing: (1) across a family of sister corporate sites, such as PGA.com providing CNN.com video, which are both owned by Turner; (2) between affiliated entities like local MLB teams providing video to the main MLB.com hub and (3) externally, to unaffiliated 3rd parties, such as WMG music providing videos to YouTube. Given all this syndication activity, I was interested to learn from Doug what percentage of the ads FreeWheel serves fall into each of these 3 buckets vs. what percentage are served on the customer's sites themselves. Doug said that FreeWheel is pulling those numbers together in a way that ensures its customers privacy and will get back to me when he has them.
In addition to the above syndication activity, FreeWheel is seeing experimentation with delivering ads to mobile devices, convergence/CE players and Internet-enabled TVs. In all these cases, customized ad policies determine who sells what ad inventory and how revenue is shared and reported. Powering all of this has been part of FreeWheel's core mission from inception, making it a key player in what I've called the 'syndicated video economy."
FreeWheel's growth echoes what I've been hearing lately from both video ad network executives and video content providers. They too are talking about rapidly rising volumes and improving monetization. As I wrote recently, I've been impressed lately by efforts to make video ads more engaging and provide a better ROI, a trend I see continuing. Taken together, while it's still relatively early days, online video advertising seems to be making great strides.
What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required)
Thursday, April 16, 2009, 9:41 AM ET|
Over the past couple months I've noticed a trend toward cable TV networks producing short webisode series solely for broadband distribution. It's still quite early, but the trend offers some insights into these networks' programming strategies.
To date most cable networks have put a lot of promotional clips online and a few have even put some full length programs up as well. But for the most part cable networks have been constrained in how much original content they distribute online due to their lucrative monthly affiliate deals with cable/telco/satellite operators (though this too may change with Comcast and TWC pursuing online distribution plans).
I've noticed these webisodes announced just in the last couple of months:
- Freshman Year (CNN) - follows the day-to-day lives of 2 first-year congressmen
- In Men We Trust (WETV) - 4 single women learn the rules of the dating game
- Great and Telling Tales by Timothy Dickinson (History) - animated shorts explaining unexpected moments in history
- Off Track with Tony Stewart (Turner Sports/NASCAR) - behind the scenes with star racing driver
- Special Report with Bret Baier (Fox News) - webcast continuation of on-air news discussion
- Walt's Warning (AMC) - first-person video featuring "Breaking Bad" cast
- FoxBusiness.com Live (FBC) - one hour weekday financial show
(No doubt there are others as well, so apologies to those I may have missed)
The webisode format breaks the traditional limitation of having a finite 24 hours/day of "shelf space" for networks to program. I think what's happening here is that cable networks are experimenting with the low-cost webisode format both to reach online users and also to see what might graduate to on-air. The webisodes allow them to bridge their brands between traditional TV and broadband to see what sticks. And some webisodes may even making money for their networks already. "Off Track" for example is showcased in an Armor All "Owner Center" sponsored environment.
CNN's Freshman Year is a good example of how one network is pushing the envelope. In the series, CNN has given Flip video cameras to 2 new congressmen, who use them to show what life is really like on and off Capitol Hill (it's not glamorous that's for sure). The concept is a natural extension for CNN's politically-interested audience, and capitalizes on the tailwind of the '08 election cycle. While the production values are well below what's typically seen on-air, there's something compellingly authentic (and yes voyeuristic) about the wobbly, poorly framed footage offered up by the congressmen. For sure you come away with a far better sense of what these guys' lives are like than you would from a slickly-produced 1 hour special.
All of the 7-13 minute episodes have pre and post rolls, from brands like IBM and Sprint. I've noticed CNN starting to promote the series through on-air spots as well, which is a key webisode audience-building all the networks have. However, CNN really needs to make the series more visible on the web site. Aside from a periodic ad, a site visitor wouldn't know the series existed or how to find it. This is a common problem with the other networks' sites as well.
It's way too early to know how sticky the webisode concept will be for cable TV networks, but on the surface I think it offers a lot of opportunity. Cable networks are not immune from audience fragmentation and consumers' changing expectations. Finding ways to reinforce viewer loyalty and generate additional revenues is a must.
What do you think? Post a comment now.
Categories: Cable Networks
Tuesday, May 29, 2007, 10:24 PM ET|
Turner Networks took a pretty significant step today - for cable networks - by announcing that it plans to stream all 7 of its original TV series slated for this summer. Though broadcast networks have been aggressively launched streaming efforts since last fall, this is the first big network group that has followed suit.
On my Cable IPTV panel last week, we spent some time discussing the divergence in strategies between the cable nets and the broadcast nets. A key takeaway was that it's not going to be so easy for cable nets to stream their programs online. That's because all cable nets have complex provisions in their "affiliate agreements" with cable and satellite operators that circumscribe their ability to distribute through additional channels.
Of course these provisions vary from agreement to agreement, but you can be sure that operators paying hefty per subscriber per month fees to cable nets are going to vigilant about allowing valuable programming to show up elsewhere, thereby (potentially) undercutting the value of their programming packages. For now the issue is being defused by Turner by positioning these streaming activities as primarily promotional. So says Jeff Gregor, CMO of TBS/TNT/TCM in today's B&C piece:
"We want new viewers to come in, and, while we certainly want them to watch shows when we air them live, we want them to watch during encores and on-demand when and where appropriate."
I'm skeptical that we'll see a rash of similar announcements from other cable nets any time soon. Lots of lawyers are still working hard to figure out how much wiggle room affiliate deals allow. Ultimately though, these restrictions will be renegotiated and cable programming will flow freely. Cable nets, like all other content providers, will conclude that online distribution is essential.
Categories: Cable Networks
Wednesday, April 4, 2007, 3:49 PM ET|
I was talking to a reporter earlier today, who asked me if traditional media companies should view broadband video as a threat.
It’s often tempting to think of anything new or any change as being threatening. That’s probably human nature. So it’s perfectly understandable why broadband video is still perceived as a threat by many.
But in fact, broadband is a giant opportunity.
Here’s a great example. CNNMoney.com launched a new Luxury “channel” on its site. This gives CNNMoney a place to grab the attention of high net worth audiences. By showcasing products with glossy video that luxury products companies and retailers want to be next to, CNNMoney is able to tap into new ad dollars in a targeted way. Could Turner have launched a conventional cable channel on “luxury”? Not a chance. There’s no room left on the dial and financing a 24x7 linear network would take big bucks until it eventually got to break-even.
Broadband lets Turner/CNN get into an important new category for a modest amount, leveraging their brand and traffic to generate new revenues.
I keep saying that media companies should view broadband as not only an opportunity, but one of the biggest ones they seen in ages. CNNMoney seems to get it.
Categories: Cable Networks
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